Rockin the Rockies

Rockin the Rockies
Stowe Mtn

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Tornado in rock hounding country

No Crystals Around This Root Ball
Some of you may know from reading my biography that I am a meteorologist by training and a rock hound as a hobbyist. There was much excitement here last weekend when a tornado blew through rock hounding country up at Lake George, Co. The tornado moved through the community of Lake George and then went on to tear up some trees in the Pike National Forest in Teller County where I rock hound. From the description of a friend and local media reports I decided to see if I could find out where the tornado entered the forest and see what kind of damage it did. While driving down the forest roads I saw nothing. Once I got out of my vehicle and did some hiking I soon saw hail and then green trees strewn about.
Left over hail almost 24 hours after the tornado
Part of my interest was as a meteorologist seeing the destruction a tornado can do to 200 year old ponderosa pines, while the rock hounder in me wanted to check out each root ball for possible exposed pegmatites pregnant with crystals. While I found over 100 downed trees during my hike, crystals were few and far between. Not a single root ball exposed a pegmatite, let alone crystals. While it was disappointing not to find any crystals, I felt rewarded to be able to discover the impact area and analyze the storm damage created by the weekend tornado. I sent a note and a few pictures to the National Weather Service (NWS) Pueblo, as they asked for information on the tornado, but have not heard back from them. The NWS Pueblo has jurisdiction over Teller County while the NWS Boulder has jurisdiction over Park County and Lake George. All structural damage so far reported was in Park County.

No Crystals Here Either, but a 10+ foot diameter root ball

Dangerous Tree... Note Crack Through Entire Tree Trunk Near End Of Ax Handle

Somehow This Yellow Beauty Got Spared The Turbulence And Hail

These downed trees are mostly pointing westward, others were pointed east, north and south

Pretty hard hiking through these downed trees

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